Chicago Tap Dance Summit Returns This Weekend After COVID Hiatus

After a two-year COVID hiatus, M.A.D.D. Rhythms is bringing back its Chicago Tap Summit.

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Preserving and promoting the form of art known as tap dancing is the mission of Making a Difference Dancing Rhythms, an organization better known as M.A.D.D. Rhythms.

“We pride ourselves on being an organization that promotes the unity of all people, and really making that exposure to the art form available to all people," said co-founder Bril Barrett.

Barrett was first exposed to tap as a young kid growing up in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood.

“If it wasn’t for someone in my neighborhood tap dancing, I would have never seen it. I would have never known I could do it," Barrett explained.

His mission is to offer the same opportunity for other young people.  

Twenty one years ago, he co-founded M.A.D.D. Rhythms to “keep tap in the community, in the neighborhoods where young people like me can see it do it, become it."

Barrett's sister, Starinah Dixon, a tap dance instructor, said her passion is teaching young people and keeping the legacy of tap dancing alive.

“We have young people who have come through the program, and they’ve gotten good within one year, some two years, some may take 10, 15 or 20 years," she said.

This weekend, M.A.D.D. is hosting the Chicago Tap Summit, which includes a large tap show Saturday night, and tap dance lessons throughout the weekend for beginners, as well as more advanced classes.

"You basically let go of any inhibitions any fears and you’re just solely focused on immersing yourself in the rhythm and the dance," Dixon said.

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